Unseeded Australian Ashleigh Barty continued her surprising run on her native soil on Thursday, sweeping past 10th-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals of the Sydney International.
The win came a day after Barty, 22 years old and ranked No. 15 in the world, knocked off top-seeded and world No. 1 Simona Halep on the hardcourt. On Friday, Barty will face seventh-seeded Kiki Bertens of Netherlands, a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal winner over qualifier Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
In the other side of the draw, qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus beat Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 6-3 to set up a semifinal matchup with fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. Kvitova beat second-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, 6-4, 6-1.
American Sofia Kenin, unseeded and ranked No. 56 in the world, broke serve at 5-5 in both sets to beat seventh-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 7-5, 7-5 to advance to the semifinals on the Australian island of Tasmania.
She will next face sixth-seeded Alizé Cornet of France — the lone seeded player remaining on the hardcourt — after Cornet swept past Belgian Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-4.
In the other semifinal, Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, a 7-5, 7-5 winner over Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, will face Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victor against Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine.
—Field Level Media